Experts condemn special jail for terrorists

The creation of a special high security jail for terrorism suspects and convicted terrorists is a bad idea which will only encourage them to be seen as heroes, according to government experts in today’s Volkskrant.

The paper quotes from a report drawn up by the Criminal Law Council and child protection groups which was presented to ministers at the end of September. The justice ministry opened its special terrorist unit in Vught a month ago. Suspects and convicted terrorists are held there in isolation. The aim of the special unit is to stop terrorists recruiting others to their cause.
But the Law Council report says that the opposite will happen and urged the government not to introduce the special unit. There is a real risk that the status of the detainees will be boosted among their supporters and the inmates’ feelings of martyrdom will be strengthened, the report is quoted as saying. In addition, the unit contravenes international treaties on holding adults and juveniles under the same roof.
The seven detainees at Vught, who include one woman, have said they will go on hunger strike unless conditions improve. In a letter by terrorist suspect Samir Azzouzz, published in the Volkskrant yesterday, the inmates claim they are forbidden from talking to each other and are subject to daily searches. No-one has yet explained how Azzouzz managed to get the letter to the newspaper.

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